Git checkout non-origin remote pull request

I don’t often review pull requests that come from non-origin remotes. This is largely because Automattic tends to create pull requests in the root repository. So, when I reviewed a pull request from an open source contributor today, I found myself wandering if there was a simple way to checkout the pull request locally for testing.

I knew that I could add a new remote, fetch from the new remote, and then checkout the pull request. But, my lazy developer brain figured there was an easier way. 😄

So, I asked my fellow Automatticians if they had any tips/tricks and I got a few good ones.

First, and probably the best solution, is to use the Github’s CLI tool. Once you’ve installed that, you can then checkout a pull request locally with something like:

gh pr checkout {<number> | <url> | <branch>}

But, if you’re relatively happy with your git flow and are looking for a little helper for this specific case, then you may be interested in this blog post by Scott Lowe. In that post, Scott shares a tip for fetching the branch from the non-origin remote to your local machine in a single command:

git fetch origin pull/1234/head:pr-1234

In my testing, this worked very well for me. But, I wanted to be a bit lazier. So, I ended up throwing that command in a shell function that expects the pull request number as an argument and then:

  1. Fetches the branch from the non-origin remote
  2. Checks out the branch from the non-origin remote

That function looks like this:

function gcopr() {
	$( git fetch origin pull/"$1"/head:pr-"$1" )
	$( git checkout pr-"$1" )
}

I’ve got this function in my ~/.oh-my-zsh/custom` directory and I use it like this:

gcopr 42940